The new Civic Memorial Park will incorporate pieces of the 80-year-old arena it replaces. (Artists rendering)

The new Civic Memorial Park will incorporate pieces of the 80-year-old arena it replaces. (Artists rendering)

Pieces of Civic Arena reclaimed for new Vernon park

City centre space to incorporate wood from the historic arena

There’s more than just a name being used to memorialize Vernon’s historic Civic Arena.

The new city centre park under construction on the land where the Civic Arena was demolished is being named after the ice rink which first opened in 1938.

The Civic Memorial Park will also see some pieces of the old arena incorporated.

”There is work being done on those community heritage aspects right now,” long range planner Daniel Sturgeon said.

A container with reclaimed wood lengths has been saved from the December 2018 demolition.

READ MORE: Vernon says goodbye to historic building

Coun. Kari Gares is pleased to see the park named after the historic rink, which saw thousands hit the ice over its 80-year history, including her grandmother.

“I believe in my heart of hearts in honouring what was there,” Gares said.

With a variety of spaces for a variety of activities, the park is being constructed to appeal to everyone.

On-leash dogs may also be permitted, which is expected to draw a number of people who live downtown looking for a place to walk their four-legged friends.

“The closest other dog park I think is Mutrie,” said Coun. Kelly Fehr, who is recommending the park allow pups.

But there’s one aspect of the park that wasn’t properly thought out.

“I think there’s a mistake in the actual design and that is the playground is the farthest from the washroom,” Mayor Victor Cumming said.

Sitting 75 metres away from each other, Cumming said that could lead to a lot of accidents for children.

Criticisms of a lack of winter activities were also pointed out by Coun. Scott Anderson, who urged staff to specifically mention winter activities in future public planning.

There is a mound in the park which Cumming suggests could provide a nice sledding area.

The park will include a variety of spaces, such as picnic areas, shade trees and more.

“More than 2,200 people live within five minutes of this park and there is no existing parks in the city centre neighbourhood,” Sturgeon said.

READ MORE: Vernon’s 39th Avenue rail crossing closed for warning system upgrades


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